A prestigious armor of the highest quality with some very interesting lineage. This is as complete of a set as it gets, with original Edo period box, it has even retained the box’s original exterior casing with lacquered roof and carry pole. Found on both sides of the exterior if the name Miyake Tamon, along with his family Crest on the exterior surface of the inner box. Miyake Tamon was a very high ranked Samurai active in the very early 1800’s, documented as a Retainer of the powerful Aizu Daimyo Matsudaira Katahiro (see picture). Retainers were considered to be highly influential Samurai as they were second in command to the Daimyo. They managed the most important of tasks like administering the Daimyo’s domain, they were heads of military units, superintendents of the castle town, ran rural administration, etc. The box tells us plenty, the amount of effort that went into making such a box means the contents were important. The lacquered roof was made to protect these contents, and whoever was given the task to carry its contents was unfortunate as the size and weightiest have been back-breaking.
Now lets look at the contents, all matching armor in gold lacquer and intricate floral designs. The red Menpo catches your attention immediately as the level of workmanship is stunning, the cost involved in making a red Menpo is very high which is why we only see them on high grade armor. The Ko-Boshi kabuto which is much older than the rest of the armor is a work of art, over 1800 individual rivets, imagine the time involved to make such a helmet, justified for a Samurai of such importance. The Dou (chest armor) is all Hon-Kosane meaning each Gold tooth like piece is individually lacquered and binned together, typically this was the most labor intensive of constrictions. The set also has what we call Wakibiki which is armor pads that went under the armpits, again this is only seen on very high quality armor. The orange colour is original to this set, it looks brighter on the Haidate because the cloth has been updated with newer material, the iron rings have been transferred over and the original cloth kept which can also be seen in the picture. The overall condition of the set is very strong and has been restored properly so the set con continue to be preserved and enjoyed.
The castle of Matsudaira Katahiro was called Wakamatsu castle, a picture has also been added of the castle in our slideshow.